Steps of the Recruitment Process

While the practice of hiring is as old as business itself and ubiquitous, it can be helpful to break the recruitment process down into basics.

Hiring people is essential to most organizations. While the practice of hiring is as old as business itself and ubiquitous, it can be helpful to break the recruitment process down into basics. Looking at the recruitment process as a series of steps can make it easier to understand how to improve each piece of the hiring puzzle.

1. Hiring Need Identification

Before you can bring your hiring needs out into the open, you must figure out where the vacancy lies within your organization. It can be helpful to interview employees or department managers to find out how many people they feel are needed and what specific tasks a new employee should take on. By dedicating time to research, you will form a clearer idea of your hiring needs and how to fulfill them.

2. Job Description Creation

Formulating a job description helps you get a grasp of what will be expected of a new employee. From here, you can get a feel for what kind of qualifications you should require and begin to form a picture of the characteristics of an ideal candidate.

Be sure to list all tasks that will be required on a regular basis. Dig deep and share truthfully, as sugar-coating the requirements of a position will not be helpful to anyone. Make sure your expectations are realistic yet challenging and craft as thorough a description of the position as possible.

3. Talent Attraction

Attracting talent can be one of the toughest parts of the hiring process. You have to be visible to your target candidates, your position offerings have to appeal to those candidates, and they need to be able to apply for the position easily. Since the behaviors of candidates changes regularly and rapidly, talent attraction can be a moving target.

Social media and top rated job boards are currently great sources for talent in most industries, which covers the visibility part of talent attraction. Savvy companies research industry competition and make sure that pay, benefits, and expectations are on par with area standards, helping to appeal to candidates. Applicant tracking system (ATS) software can help streamline the application process.

4. Selection

When a flood of applications is received, the next step of the recruitment process is to sort through those applications and select the top candidates. ATS software can help with resume parsing, using keywords to bring the most qualified candidates to the surface so that hiring managers don’t have to waste time.

When hiring managers do review applications after filtering has been completed by an ATS, they can spend their time really trying to identify the top candidate for the position from several applicants that would all potentially be a good fit. This can help to raise hiring standards.

5. Interview

In many organizations, telephone interviews have been conducted initially, followed by in person interviews. Technology is making its mark on this part of the hiring process. Now some companies will conduct interviews through messaging or by telephone and then move to video interviews. This makes particular sense for companies that hire remote workers or that operate internationally.

While it may be easier to conduct interviews via phone or messaging, it’s best to conduct a final interview either in person or through video messaging. Seeing a person’s mannerisms can provide insights into their character that aren’t apparent through other forms of communication.

6. Reference Checking

Checking references is often a matter of trust, as you use the contact information that the candidate provides and ask questions of the person that responds.

If you can find a way to check references that is more verifiable than the traditional trust exercise, it may help you to glean more unbiased information about the candidates’ experiences. Simply looking up a business phone number rather than calling a personal line may help put you in touch with someone that has not been groomed to make the candidate look good.

Some ATS software vendors are also beginning to develop options that will help with validated reference checking.

7. Background Checks and Screening

Before making a job offer, many companies require background checks and screening. Performing these checks can protect a company if an employee does something immoral or illegal after hire. Screening may include drug testing, personality evaluations, and physical evaluations depending on the industry and the job requirements.

Using ATS software to store documentation relating to background checks and screening can make it easy to keep all employee information in one place in case the need arises for review of these materials.

8. Offer Management

Creating a formal offer letter and submitting it to a candidate that has been selected for a job can help to ensure that terms of employment and expectations are clear. The offer letter serves as documentation that can be referenced if disagreements arise later. If a candidate rejects the terms of the offer letter, a new offer letter can be drafted.

Keeping track of offer letters can also help managers maintain consistency and fairness.

9. Onboarding

When a candidate accepts a job, it’s essential to begin the onboarding process. Onboarding includes collecting the necessary forms that are required for legal employment, providing information about the company and operations, readying an employee’s work space and tools, and creating a plan for orientation and training. Ideally, onboarding should also help an employee acclimate to a company’s culture and begin meeting peers.

Digital onboarding through ATS software can be easier and more comfortable. Social feeds that are company specific may even help new employees acclimate socially.

10. Analyzing and Improving

Analytics and reporting can help hiring managers to review each part of the hiring process, evaluating the effectiveness of current tactics. As changes are made, hiring managers can track improvements and assess how changes affect candidate experience. By using these tools, companies can continuously improve hiring processes and adapt to trends as an inherent part of the hiring strategy.

New employees will inevitably need to be hired as current employees move on and new positions are created. Being able to look at the hiring process as a series of simple steps – moving through each smoothly and continuously improving – will help a company to maintain high standards for employment.


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